Woman wants to charge sister-in-law with malicious mischief
"My sister-in-law is staying awith us here in Manila to save up on rent while she is finishing her fourth year in college. Our relationship is okay but she gets upset every time I do not lend her some of my things. Last month, she asked me if she could borrow my luggage bag, which I just bought from a known boutique but I refused to lend it to her because I am afraid that she might damage it. I was surprised when I saw my bag a few days later because there is a big slash at the backside of it.
Our househelper confessed to me that she saw my sister-in-law when she slashed my bag with a kitchen knife. This is not the first time that she destroyed my things. I want to file a case against her so she will not do it again. Does this amount to a crime?Ms. Scorpio
Dear Ms. Scorpio,The malicious destruction of a property amounts to a crime of malicious mischief as provided in Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code:
Article 327. Any person who shall deliberately cause to the property of another any damage not falling within the terms of the next preceding chapter, shall be guilty of malicious mischief.Malicious mischief is defined as the willful, damaging of another’s property for the sake of causing damage because of hate, revenge or other evil motive. (Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book II (15th Ed.), p. 837). It has the following elements: 1) that the offender deliberately caused damage to the property of another 2) that such act does not constitute arson or other crimes involving destruction 3) that the act of damaging another’s property be committed merely for the sake of damaging it (ibid.).
The act of your sister-in-law in deliberately causing damage to your luggage bag, by slashing it by a kitchen knife, falls squarely within the provision of Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code.However, she is exempted from criminal liability as provided for in Article 332 of the Revised Penal Code:Article 332. Persons exempt from criminal liability.—No criminal but only civil liability shall result from the commission of the crime of theft, swindling, or malicious mischief committed or caused mutually by the following persons:1. Spouses, ascendants and descendants, or relatives by affinity in the same line
2. The widowed spouse with respect to the property, which belonged to the deceased spouse before the same shall have passed into the possession of another3. Brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, if living together.The exemption established by this article shall not be applicable to strangers participating in the commission of the crime.Hence, since you and your sister-in-law are living together in the same house when she deliberately slashed your bag, she is exempt from criminal liability from the crime of malicious mischief. She is only civilly liable for the destruction of your bag. According to Article 104 of the Revised Penal Code, civil liability established in Article 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this code includes: 1) restitution 2) reparation of the damage caused 3) indemnification for consequential damages.Finally, we wish to remind you that this opinion is solely based on your narration of facts and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary if other facts are added or elaborated.We hope that we were able to address your concern.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299)."
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"Woman wants to charge sister-in-law with malicious mischief"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 16 September 2021
and updated on 16 September 2021